The Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) has finally released the list of Rajya Sabha candidates from Gujarat. The two names of the candidates are Bharatsinh Solanki and Shaktisinh Gohil. These two were also the names that were making rounds of the power corridors of Delhi to be selected soon. However, sources told Republic TV that the earlier combination which was selected by Delhi Congress 'high command' was that of Shaktisinh Gohil and Rajeev Shukla. The two names were the first and second preference respectively.
In a plot twist, though, Rajeev Shukla publically turned down the nomination from Sonia Gandhi and claimed that it was because he 'is focussing on organisational work'. In a tweet, he thanked Sonia Gandhi for considering him as a Rajya Sabha candidate for Congress from Gujarat. Three minutes after his tweet the Delhi Congress party leaders released the new list of Gujarat at 8:57 pm. The new list had names of Gohil and Solanki.
Both Gohil and Solanki had been lobbying to get this candidacy since a few years. Even in the last RS elections when Congress stood to win seats, the cadre of Solanki and the leader himself was not happy with the party for nominating Ami Yagnik. This time around the cadres of Solanki and Gohil both were lobbying for their respective leaders to get the tickets. However, the addition of Solanki in the list was also the last-minute decision since Rajiv Shukla also turned the offer down.
While the Congress party has been making confident statements that they will be able to win both the seats comfortably, there is still apprehension of a third candidate being fielded by BJP to cut into the votes of Congress MLA's as well. "We are comfortable and confident that two seats will be that of Congress. We are united and ready to fight if BJP resorts to their old tactics and try to field another candidate and try to break the MLAs of this party. They will not succeed," said Amit Chavda, the GPCC president.
The last date for filing of nomination for the seats is on Friday when both the leaders will be going to file their papers.